Offensive Weapons Bill

Written evidence submitted by Mal (OWB191)

Hello, I have just been made aware of these various and mostly ridiculous amendments and wish to voice my opposition to the bulk of them.

NC7. This  seeks to ban anyone under the age of 18 from having an air gun on private land other than as a part of a sporting club.

This bit of nonsense would prevent the training of youngsters in the safe use of arms, which is the main way of reducing accidents and having sensible use of arms of all types. Almost everyone that I know, myself included, were taught the basics of safe gun handling with an air gun. I was taught when I was 5 years old and have enjoyed shooting for the last 65 years. This short sighted amendment will not benefit public safety and must be rejected.

NC8. To mandate the secretary of state to report before parliament on the safe use of air guns.

This is yet another pointless piece of nonsense. It won’t add to the debate on air guns and should also be rejected.

NC19. This seeks to prevent persons from holding .22 rifles and ammunition without background checks.

This old exemption is used to set up and run shooting galleries at fairgrounds e.t.c. It also is the authority to run many of the N.S.R.A. affiliated clubs up and down the country. I’m told that in the 50 years that this exemption has been in force there has only been one single case of a rifle being acquired illegally. This , yet again will do nothing to enhance public safety and could do great harm to many small bore shooting clubs.

NC20. Requires the secretary of state to review section 9 of the firearms act.

This is another exemption, this time for auctioneers and their carriers during the course of their business. Auctioneers can take in "off ticket arms " and add them to their registers. This surely reduces the number of illegally held arms and is a benefit to the public safety. The auctioneers have to follow strict rules and keep proper accounts of all arms. The exemption is also used by firearms dealers in the course of their business.

This further bit of nonsense will be of no benefit to anyone and again should be scrapped.

NC21. To establish a firearms advisory committee empowered to make recommendations to the secretary of state concerning firearms law and the codification of that law.

At last, this actually makes good sense, advice from people who actually know what they are talking about. This should benefit everyone.

NC22. Allow the conviction of a person possessing the components for ammunition manufacture.

This is a total mess. Surely, anyone licensed to possess ammunition should also be able to have the component parts. If this piece of rubbish were made law it would hit almost everyone who shoots and reloads their own ammunition. I, like all the other members of our club,  make our own ammunition. It is almost a necessity for those of us using historic arms where the correct ammunition is just not available. It is also a way of loading cartridges to suit a particular arm, making them both safer and more accurate. We also use muzzle loading arms where the powder, wads and bullets or balls are all made or acquired as separate items. This would wipe out much shooting as we know it. And, if we purchased all our ammunition, which we simply cannot afford to do we would still fall foul of this nonsense when we ejected a spent cartridge case, a component part. Surely it would be more sensible to require that one shows their firearm certificate when purchasing components. the Home Office guidance states that component parts are NOT ammunition, only complete rounds are ammunition.

NC23, NC24 To include antique arms in sections 16 – 20 of the firearms act 1968.

These are yet again pointless nonsense that will do nothing to enhance public safety and should be rejected.

NC26. To classify the purchase of an antique firearm by any other method than a cheque or electronic transfer as a felony.

I gather that there is no evidence that criminals would be deterred from acquiring them for criminal use by this amendment. this is yet another pointless piece of rubbish and should be rejected.

NC27. To establish a compulsory register of antique firearms.

This is also another pointless exercise and completely unworkable. It would have to involve dealers, collectors and museums to name but a few. This should be rejected.

NC28. This is totally bonkers. It appears to require that those buying shotgun cartridges must be in possession of a firearm certificate. Surely the law already requires that one shows his or her shotgun certificate when buying shotgun cartridges. There must be countless thousands of shotgun users who simply do not have a firearm certificate. Much need for NC21 I think.

I will leave it now, I’ve had my input and tried to make our firearm laws a little easier to understand and to stop the plain daft and pointless rubbish from being dumped on us.

Kindest regards, Mal .


Prepared 12th September 2018